Involuntary commitment and handgun purchase permit
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Thread: Involuntary commitment and handgun purchase permit

  1. Involuntary commitment and handgun purchase permit

    Hello all,

    Let me cut to the chase -

    December 2009 I was involuntarily commited on the suspicion of a suicide attempt. What a horrible experience. I had a bad reaction to a medication that I am no longer prescribed. I maintained from the very beginning that I am not suicidal and have never been suicidal.

    I spent 4 days hospitalized until my hearing. The judge overturned the commitment within 15 minutes of testimony from me, my husband, the social worker, etc.

    It angers and frustrates me that this is a "blight" on my record. Upon discharge, I asked my attorney if I were ever asked the question on an application whether or not I'd been involuntarily commited, how I should respond. He didn't "think" it counted since the judge overturned the order. But he was clearly not certain of the laws governing this.

    I'm having difficulty finding an attorney who is clear about the guidelines and I haven't located the statutes on this matter.

    I'd like to apply to purchase a handgun in Union County and this is

    Q 9. Have you ever been treated for a mental condition or been committed either voluntarily or involuntarily to any mental institution?

    Before December my answer would've been no. The judge overturned the order with no conditions. His closing statements included "Patient does not exhibit any signs of any mental disorder and has not displayed such as evidenced in treatment notes and should be discharged home immediately".

    I'm seeking a gun for protection. My husband is a CDL driver whose going OTR in 1 month and we live in the country. I'll be home with our 3 children.

    Any guidance or suggestions appreciated.

    Thanks!

    USAFVET

  2.   
  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    699
    Does the form those questions are on warn you of criminal liability for false information?

  4. #3
    Edit: I see NC laws are a lot goofier than I thought.

    Ok, I would write a letter addressed to the SO at this address asking that question. Polite and brief. Include a copy of any documentation from the judge that proves your case.

    Union County Sheriff's Office
    Attn: Handgun Permits
    3344 Presson Road
    Monroe, NC 28112

    Let us know their response.
    Last edited by calvin; 03-12-2010 at 10:42 AM.
    Moderator

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    South Carolina/Charleston
    Posts
    2,388
    Sounds like you should follow what amddude has to say. Seems like a letter from the judge that voids your having to answer yes to the question would be best, if you can get it. The letter should specifically address this particular question on the application so that it is clear that an answer of no is correct. Good luck--as amddude said--let us know what happens.

  6. #5
    You could check with your State Attorney's General office just to be sure. You said that you were "hospitalized". Were you
    in a true hospital or a true mental institution? If you were just in a hospital then I think that you could truthfully answer no
    to that question. You could also inquire at your local sheriff's office and police dept. to see if anything shows up on your
    record, but you might want to be your last resort; no need in opening up another can of worms in case there is nothing
    there. You could of course make the inquiry at the office that issues the CC permits but then again that might be as a last
    resort if you were indeed in a "mental institution" rather than a hospital. If you were in a hospital I think it would be moot
    point. The Attorney General's office should be able to give you a solid yes or no answer, but only ask them IF it was a
    "mental institution" you were in.
    Don't know if this is any help or not but good luck with this!
    Kill them all and let God sort them out!

  7. #6
    Hpoefully you can attach documentation from the judge, or even the medical record from the hospital, assuming that it supports your position. The Health Insurance Portability and Accounability Act (HIPAA) along with state laws, allows you to get a copy of you medical record from the hospital. I don't know the specifics of North Carolina law, but I know some states will request a release of the person's medical record if needed for review.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Cataw. Co. NC.
    Posts
    135
    Good luck; Getting a permit to buy a pistol is not as difficult as getting a CCW. permit.
    I ran into trouble getting a CCW from the mental health dept. I made the mistake of trusting them! What you tell them is not private! Your words will be used against you!
    I was depressed over a woman, and tried to get help from Catawaba county's mental health dept. They had me fill out a form asking about past and current drug use. I put down that I smoked pot as a young man and that at that time I drank 8 beers every day, after work, at home. That was 15 years ago. To this day I have Never been in any legal trouble over alcohol or drugs; my criminal record is clean, my driving record is clean. I even stopped drinking 2 years and 10 months ago. But the catawaba county mental health dept. wants $118 dollars for a substance abuse evaluation.
    That CCW permit has gotten too expensive as I am sure I will just be out for $118 dollars.
    I am sure that my 5th and 14th amendment rights are being violated! But, again lawyers are expensive. The permit is just too expensive for me.

  9. I would like to respectfully disagree with AMDDUDE. Im not really comfortable with the idea of sending all of the information to the approving authority and drawing all of this attention upon the poor lady. I personally would prefer just to go through the process and hold onto the judges order as a response should the issue ever come up. The judges order, In my opinion, is much like an expungement of a record. Im not an attorney and Im not a person whos opinion really matters. However, I really dont like the idea of checking with the agency that is responsible for approving the permit application because they can tell you what they want the answer to be. An attorney who will give a strait answer is a decent place to start.

    AMDDUDE, I do not mean any disrespect.
    Retired US Army Medic
    Proud Husband, Dad and Christian
    www.nationofshooters.com

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by kn1080 View Post
    I would like to respectfully disagree with AMDDUDE. Im not really comfortable with the idea of sending all of the information to the approving authority and drawing all of this attention upon the poor lady. I personally would prefer just to go through the process and hold onto the judges order as a response should the issue ever come up. The judges order, In my opinion, is much like an expungement of a record. Im not an attorney and Im not a person whos opinion really matters. However, I really dont like the idea of checking with the agency that is responsible for approving the permit application because they can tell you what they want the answer to be. An attorney who will give a strait answer is a decent place to start.

    AMDDUDE, I do not mean any disrespect.
    If the SO denies her, then she can take legal action against them. If something happens down the road, she gets into some kind of trouble (who knows, speeding, domestic dispute, etc) and for any reason they rule/find out/decide (even temporarily) that her permit is invalid because of her "lying" on this form, then she is probably going to be charged with perjury, providing false information, and likely another offense for carrying without a permit. Then what? She has to hire a lawyer and fight the system? Doesn't mean that she couldn't win, but that is an awful lot of trouble.

    I think it is a superior idea to try and resolve this head on. If she is uncomfortable sending in her health information or a judge's order then she can pay her attorney to write the SO a letter and ask. Then if she's required to submit that information later, so be it.

    Edit: Another concern she should be aware of is that question 12. f. on the ATF 4473 form (the one you fill out when buying a gun) asks:
    Have you ever been adjudicated mentally defective (which includes having been adjudicated incompetent to manage your own affairs) or have you ever been committed to a mental institution?

    It would be helpful to have some documentation at hand if that ever became an issue someday.
    Last edited by calvin; 03-14-2010 at 09:40 AM.
    Moderator

  11. Quote Originally Posted by amddude View Post
    If the SO denies her, then she can take legal action against them. If something happens down the road, she gets into some kind of trouble (who knows, speeding, domestic dispute, etc) and for any reason they rule/find out/decide (even temporarily) that her permit is invalid because of her "lying" on this form, then she is probably going to be charged with perjury, providing false information, and likely another offense for carrying without a permit. Then what? She has to hire a lawyer and fight the system? Doesn't mean that she couldn't win, but that is an awful lot of trouble.

    I think it is a superior idea to try and resolve this head on. If she is uncomfortable sending in her health information or a judge's order then she can pay her attorney to write the SO a letter and ask. Then if she's required to submit that information later, so be it.

    Edit: Another concern she should be aware of is that question 12. f. on the ATF 4473 form (the one you fill out when buying a gun) asks:
    Have you ever been adjudicated mentally defective (which includes having been adjudicated incompetent to manage your own affairs) or have you ever been committed to a mental institution?

    It would be helpful to have some documentation at hand if that ever became an issue someday.
    Great point. Perhapps in this situation it may be best to hit it head on.
    Retired US Army Medic
    Proud Husband, Dad and Christian
    www.nationofshooters.com

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